Fact Check

How true is claim Dubai police arrested 3 Nigerian men disguising as women?

Claim: A user on Twitter claims that three Nigerian men were arrested in Dubai whilst faking to be Arab women. 

The claim that three Nigerian men were arrested in Dubai whilst faking to be Arab women is misleading. Findings show the men were arrested in Algeria, not in Dubai, and their nationalities were not disclosed by the Algerian police to be Nigerians. Hence, this claim is misleading.  

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It is common among young Nigerians to seek greener pastures in advanced countries of the world. Interestingly, the concept is referred to as ‘japa’ by Nigerians.  While immigration in itself is not a bad aspiration, the illegal means some Nigerians used to depart to other nations seem to have brought a bad name to the country. 

As such, narratives around Nigerians illegally trying to migrate to other countries always seem to attract attention and assumptions.  A typical example is a tweet that claims ‘three Nigerian men were arrested in DUBAI for faking to be Arab women.’ The post was made by Alaya Kamal (@iam_skamal) and soon attracted over 1,000 reactions, alongside multiple comments from bewildered, doubting and believing users.

One user, Dreal Kwaba (@chineduIH), commented thus: “Lmaoooooooo My country men no dey ever fail. Constituting a nuisance everywhere.”

However, FOUNDATIONAL HUMAN BEING (@TosinFayanju), also another user, challenged the claim.

The user wrote: “People won’t verify this and just be spreading it. Just as someone was spreading fake news Abt a Cameroon player. Calling his wife, his daughter.”

While, do_U_mind? (@PkHoody) perceived the tweet as an incredibly hilarious thing Nigerians can actually do. 

“Nigeria should have a movie production company filming everyday citizens in the country. The whole country people are some way bi🤣🤣🤣”

It didn’t stop there. The claim also made it to the mainstream media, spreading the same narrative with more details attached to it. On hettysmedia, a report published on the claim, alongside the same picture, details that: “Three Nigerian men dressed like Arab women have been arrested in Dubai by the Emirate security operatives.”

The Rifnote news and the Gulftoday news websites also featured this same narrative. Apparently, the claim has made appearances on different platforms but with the same narrative of Nigerians.

While it is easy to dismiss this claim as truthful, the reputation and image of nations have been soiled in the past for such allegations that have often been unconfirmable.  


First, DUBAWA conducted a Yandex reverse image search to trace where the supporting picture of the alleged three men first appeared. 

The results trace the image to a  video on a YouTube channel titled   “El Bilad TV” Apparently, the TV  reported on  a network of local and foreign nationals of drug and human traffickers that were arrested by Algerian police in Algeria and not Dubai. 

Further details in the video did not mention if the men were Nigerians, but  noted that they were arrested for smuggling drugs and other illegal substances while dressed up as women to evade law officials. 

The video on YouTube shows the arrest of the men by the Algerian police in Algerian, not in Dubai, with the caption “overthrow of foreign nationals within a gang of smuggling people and cocaine by camouflaging women’s clothing.”

Apparently, the event was popular news in Algeria. TSA Algerie, a prominent media outlet in Algeria, reported that: “a group of traffickers of hard drugs was apprehended by the judicial police services of the wilaya of Algiers, announced Thursday, February 3, the DGSN in a press release.”

The report also outlines the seizure of 1.5 kg of hard drugs, including 780 grams of heroin, 670 grams of cocaine and 80 grams of cannabis by the police from the men. 

Regarding the men’s nationality, the news report reveals that: 

“This large-scale operation also made it possible to put an end to human trafficking in which this network made up of 14 people, including 4 Algerians and the 10 others of a foreign nationality, aged between 20 and 24, was engaged, according to the judicial police officer.”

Even more, findings show that the Algerian police have made a post on Facebook regarding the claim but with no mention of the actual nationality of the men, only describing them as a  criminal network specialised in illegal trafficking of solid drugs. 

A Facebook screenshot of a post by the Algerian police over the details of the arrest 


Findings show these men were arrested in Algeria by the Algerian police and not Dubai. Also, no fact points to the reality that these men were Nigerians or  have anything to do with Nigeria. As such, this claim is misleading. 

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